OPPONENTS Everton at Goodison Park
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Sunday 3rd November 2019
PREVIEW That ever-so-random Premier League fixture computer has handed Spurs a second trip[ to Merseyside on successive weekends, as we meet fellow crisis club Everton at Goodison Park.

The good record we have over Everton in the recent past seems to be slipping a little since our last visit to the city, when we came home with three points and a sack full of goals in a 6-2 win.  The Toffees visit to our home in the last league match of the season saw a late equaliser from Christian Eriksen salvage a 2-2 draw after Eric Dier had given Spurs a second minute lead. 

The question both side's fans are probably asking is which side is going to turn up ?  Everton won in midweek in the League Cup, having fielded a full strength side, but picked up an injury to Yerry Mina.  Tottenham looked very good in the first halves against Crystal Palace and Bayern Munich, but looked awful in the second 45 minutes against Bayern and the 90 at Brighton.  It is hard to put a finger on exactly what has happened at Spurs.  It can't all be down to losing the Champions League final.  It can't all be down to players wanting to leave the club.  And I don't quite understand we are in this position when Dele, Kane, Son and Lamela all came back from the summer looking very fit.

But how did Everton get to where they are ?  Were the sales of Lookman, Galloway, Mirallis and Gueye really that crucial to the team ?  Bringing in Andre Gomes form Barcelona, who they had on loan last season and strikers Moise Kean from Inter, along with Gooner Alex Iwobi, should have patched up some areas in the side that needed attention.  Now the problems lie in defence, where England central defender Michael Keane has been shaky and injury and suspension have limited the amount of playing time Seamus Coleman has had.  The jury is still out on Mina, who had a good World Cup against England for Columbia and Lucas Digne is a threat going forward, but not always switched on defensive mindedly.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin hasn't come on as Everton had hoped and Cenk Tosun is a physical striker, but not the regular scorer they thought they were buying.  Midfielders are dangerous in the Everton side, with Gylfi Sigurdsson keen to prove a point to Spurs, as is Gomes, who we looked at but passed on.  Even more dangerous is Fabian Delph, who put Harry Kane out of the latter stages of last season in the Champions League quarter-final.  Another player who could be dangerous, but is more often dangerous to himself is Theo Walcott.  What is more likely ?  That he will score against us or that he will be carried off injured ?

Tottenham will need to be aware of strikers Kean, who is a raw young talent and Richarlison, who is an experienced forward schooled in the art of winning decisions in and around the box.  Whatever happens, Spurs will need to be willing to put in the effort to get something out of this match and will have to meet Everton's determination to get back to the way they have been playing in the last few seasons.

Some players have been culpable of errors in recent matches, it has left us in the midst of a bad run and there were signs of better to come in the Liverpool match last week, but also evidence that the players are not confident on the ball and the movement off the ball is limited, giving the person in possession fewer options to find a Spurs player.  I hope that the squad have been working on this in training to pull Everton around, as they are vulnerable to being opened up if you can do that.  .

With the way both clubs are playing at the moment, it doesn't shape up to be a thrilling contest, but it could be gripping in another way.  The starting point to grapple your way out of the situation you find yourself in is to get a win.  Sometimes it doesn't matter how and both teams will be battling to find the way to do so.  Expect lots of blood and guts stuff, so not one for the purist, but if Tottenham can find a way to dig in and cut out expensive mistakes, they could come out of it on top.

PREDICTION Everton    2        Tottenham Hotspur    3
Danny Rose is suspended for this game after totting up five yellow cards this season.  Erik Lamela (hamstring) and Hugo Lloris (elbow ligaments) are the only injury absentees for Tottenham.  Jan Vertonghen is hoping to pass a late fitness test to be ready to play.

Bernard (knee) and Jean-Philippe Gbamin (thigh) are both definitely missing, while Yerry Mina hopes to be fit enough to play in defence for the Toffees.


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Premier League Kick off 16.30
Everton  1 (0)  
Tottenham Hotspur  1 (0)

Tosun 90+6m 58s


Dele  62m 23s

Crowd :   39,001 Weather :  Chilly, dry
Referee :  Martin Atkinson (South Yorkshire) Assistant Referees :  Mr. Lee Betts; Mr. Peter Kirkup
Fourth Official :  David Coote  
Video Assistant Referee :  Anthony Taylor Video Assistant Referee Assistant :  Adam Nunn
Everton kicked off and played towards the Walton Lane end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 16 minutes.
Walcott (foul on Davies) 30


Eriksen (pull on Iwobi)  31
Ndombele (foul on Sidibe) 64

Son (foul on Gomes) 80
Everton : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Jordan PICKFORD

19  Djibril SIDIBE
  2  Mason HOLGATE
  Yerry MINA
  Lucas DIGNE  (c)

  8  Fabian DELPH

11  Theo WALCOTT       (14  Cenk TOSUN  68)
26  Tom DAVIES  (  9  Dominic CALVERT-LEWIN  83)
21  Andre GOMES  (10  Gylfi SIGURDSSON  84)
17  Alex IWOBI


Unused subs: 
  Jonas LOSSL
  Seamus COLEMAN
  5  Michael KEANE
  Moise KEAN


  22  Paulo GAZZANIGA

24  Serge AURIER  (21  Juan FOYTH  88)
  6  Davinson SANCHEZ
33  Ben DAVIES  (c)

17  Moussa SISSOKO
28  Tanguy NDOMBELE       (18  Giovani LO CELSO  73)

  7  Heung-Min SON     
20  DELE Alli 
23  Christian ERIKSEN       (19  Ryan SESSEGNON  90+12)

27  Lucas MOURA

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM


Manager :  Marco Silva Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   SportPesa Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Umbro Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

A pint from a game that will be remembered less for the football than a horrific injury suffered by Andre Gomes was the result of two teams with troubles meeting in a match neither were determined not to lose.  As it was, the broken leg that Gomes got when his foot got stuck in the turf was an incentive for Everton to grab a late equaliser that shared the points.

Going into the game without virus victim Harry Kane meant a change in personnel and first appearances on the bench for Troy Parrott and Ryan Sessegnon. Lucas started alone up front with Eriksen, Son and Dele behind him and at the back Davies was in for the suspended Rose, while Ndombele replaced Winks.

The first opportunity came in the fifth minute, with Pickfordís long kick upfield looking for Walcott, but he wasnít quick enough to get close to the ball that ran through to Gazzaniga. Then Sanchez gave the ball away on the left on halfway line, but Walcott couldnít pass to a team-mate and the attack was broken up. Delph got going early with a late tackle stamping on Eriksenís foot after putting Harry Kane out for two months last season when playing for Manchester City. Tottenham got forward with 12 minutes gone, with Davies slipping the ball to Eriksen on the left corner of the box, but his ball inside was poor and was picked off easily. It was a pass that he would have created goals with in the past and it was disappointing to see such a talented player not performing.

The first fifteen minutes was played out by two teams looking desperately out of form.  There was little play of quality or any decent moves strung together. Eriksen was played the ball by Son, but he was tackled as he dwelt on the ball, when normally, he would move it quickly. Son then came in off the right to hit a shot, but it was blocked by a wall of blue shirts and Aurier delivered the cross from the loose ball straight into Pickfordís hands. Lay-offs were not finding their target for Spurs, with Everton playing high up the pitch to try to stop Tottenham getting in behind them. Ndomebleís diagonal ball was put out for a corner and although it went o the far side, Aurierís cross nearly caught out Pickford this time, requiring the keeper to stretch to palm the ball out as it looked like it might creep under his bar.

Gomes played Richarlison through the middle, but his shot was straight at Toby Alderweireld in front of him when he might have taken the defender on instead. A foul on Lucas 30 yards out was played short and Davies tried to pick out Toby at the far post, but he couldnít get a clean header on it. Gomes  had a header at the other end when Walcott got in behind Davies, but the Portuguese midfielder couldnít keep it down and it sailed harmlessly over the bar. Walcott and Eriksen swapped bookings with the former Gooner going over the top on Ben Davies and Christian pulling back Iwobi as he looked to break away. The ball was moved well by Everton and Digne picked out a low ball into the box for Richarlison, who turned on the penalty spot, but didnít have power or direction in his shot to beat Gazzaniga. Spurs won a throw-in at the other end and won a corner, but Eriksen played it in too low for Alderweireld to get any angle on his header,  which went well wide.

Richarlison had a temper tantrum when he didnít get a free-kick, even though he was backing into Sanchez at the time. The striker does go down easily, which undermines any good he does. He was soon looking for another award on the edge of the box but was once more petulant that it went against him for making a back for Eriksen to go over. Gomes had gone down in the box, bringing a VAR review, but Sanchez just stood his ground and the Everton midfielder ran into him. Odd that they didnít look back earlier in that move when Sissoko took a hand in the face.

Richarlison got the ball at his feet in the area and turned around Sanchez but then blazed his shot over the bar with a couple of minutes to half-time. The only time the Everton crowd got vocal was when Richarlison went down (and he did regularly). Boos rang out at the half-time whistle and with only one shot on target, you could perhaps understand that. The game was meandering, but the lack of urgency in the Spurs side and the lack of confidence in the way we were playing was a major concern. Some movement off the ball and some precise passing by Spurs should have made a difference in this match, where there were more fireworks outside the ground than happening on the pitch.

At the start of the second half, Lucas moved to the right, with Son replacing him through the middle. It didnít seem to bring much joy, as both teams toiled away. Son took on Mina and dumped him on his arse, but the defender got two touches on Son while on the floor, although VAR didnít think it was worthy of a penalty. Richarlison was trying his best to get VAR to make a decision in his favour, but it was getting to levels of high embarrassment as he threw himself to the floor every time a Spurs player went near him. How the referee didnít see his persistent simulation I donít know. Dele almost opened up the Everton defence with a ball over the top, where Lucas got past two defenders but couldnít stretch to get a decent contact on the ball which dribbled through to the keeper.

When Iwobi presented the ball to Son thirty yards out with a wayward pass, the ball was moved on to Dele. He came in from the left across two defenders to a central position and put the ball back the other way past Pickford form the edge pf the box to hand Spurs the lead with their first shot on target. It was a really well taken goal, seeing as how Dele took the ball back into traffic, but he kept a cool head to slot past the keeper into the bottom left corner in the 63rd minute.

Ben Davies did well to deflect a shot from that took the ball wide. From an Everton corner, substitute Tosun caused some panic, but as Mina went up for it, Dele went with him, but an arm went up and this brought a long stoppage as VAR took forever to look at whether it was a penalty. It looked it but the VAR said no.  VAR didnít get a look in when Son took an arm in the face from Gomes which seemed worthy of a review. It has got to the stage where not many people are aware why and when VAR is used. I donít  know if it was VAR who was responsible for getting Son sent off, but his challenge on Gomes was rightly judged to be a booking for the Korean, but the momentum took Gomes into a collision with Aurier and he was left with his leg at entirely the wrong angle that it should have been. If it was VAR, then the intervention wasnít really necessary, as it was an unfortunate accident and not a leg-breaker   from Son.

There was a long delay as Gomes received treatment and the distraught Son was dismissed, but when play did restart, Everton had made two substitutions, one of which was Calvert-Lewin, who won a far post header from a ball in from the right but put it over from a narrow angle.  Everything was set for a final ten minutes plus a huge amount of stoppage time with Everton fancying their chances against ten men. Foyth replaced Aurier to add fresh legs and let the shocked defender leave the field. The fourth official held up the board showing 12 added minutes.  A loose return pass to Foyth from a throw-in by Sissoko saw Mina make a lumbering move up front and you had the feeling that an aerial bombardment would be on the cards. Lo Celso didnít look like he had just come on, with no effort to close people down, which we needed being a man short. He did hold the ball well enough though and Delph couldnít help himself in fouling him. That bought a  little time, but the ball kept coming back.  Lo Celso didnít pick up Digne behind him and a long ball over his head saw it played in on the volley and Tosun got in at the near post to head past Gazzaniga and there was still six minutes left.

Richarlison nearly pinched the ball off Sanchez but went down as Davinson tried to play the ball.  Once more, Richarlison cheats. A foul on Delph handed Everton a free-kick 30 yards out on the left  and Sessegnonís first touch as a substitute was to head the ball away. Lucas won the ball outside the box, played it to Dele and then Davies took it on to keep the ball away from their own goal, running time out to keep hold of a point that jumped Spurs up two places, with Everton down in 17th.

There were empty blue seats at the start of the match. By the end there were many more as they laboured despite the numerical advantage. Many missed the equaliser and those who remained were content with abusing the referee rather than looking closer at home to where the real problems lie. Ndombele had a mixed game. His passes were good and bad in equal measure. Handing the ball to Everton in midfield put the team under pressure and when he did play some good passes, the pressure was on the home team. He is still coming to terms with playing in the Premier League, but we need him to perform to get the team moving. Eriksen still looks half the player he was, Lo Celso looks lost and needs to get involved more. Dele looked better today, getting around the pitch better and taking his chance very well, but the defence stood firm until deep into added time that came from the massive amount of time that VAR is taking out of the game. Sanchez did very well against the diving Richarlison, Davies put in a captainís performance and Aurier had a sound match, with Alderweireld winning a lot of ball. Best wishes go to Andre Gomes for a full recovery, but the response of the Everton players and most ex-players to the decision and the Premier Leagueís statement that Son was sent off for ďendangering a playerís safetyĒ shows what little understanding of playing the game the ruling body have. Atkinson went straight for a yellow card until he saw what had happened to Gomes and the reaction of some of the players and the crowd. What actually caused Gomesí injury was the pitch.  Are the Premier League going to take action against the Everton ground-staff ?

If the outcome of this is that any challenge that ends in a serious injury becomes a red card, then the game becomes a non-contact sport. VAR has enough problems deciding what a handball is and what isnít, so making interpretations of what might cause a playerís safety to be endangered is one they should leave well alone. Every elbow that was flung in this game, every slide tackle, every shoulder charge, every challenge for a header is a definite red card. Was Gary Cahill red carded when he clashed heads with Ryan Mason ? No. It was a hugely accidental collision that ended a playerís career. Referees have never been able to tell what endangering a playerís safety is. Where were they when Danny Thomasí and Gary Stevensí careers were brought to an end ? Different times, but back then it was said to be all part of the game. What is happening now is taking the game apart and what part tackling has in it is questionable.

This should not distract from the fact that a player has been very seriously injured, which is unusual these days and perhaps that is why the referee  produced a reaction to it. But for the second time in six months, Sonís red card has not been merited.

So, a point each helps neither side and the game itself was quite forgettable other than the injury and the controversy. A draw was probably the fairest outcome in the end, but with eleven, we might have held out for the win.

It might end up a watershed day for the game. Whether it will be a watershed day for either of the clubs will be seen in the coming weeks.


Match facts

Ryan Sessegnon makes his Spurs debut in the final minute of added time.

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How the players did
Paulo Gazzaniga Solid game although he didn't have a lot to do.  No chance with the Everton goal.
Ben Davies Put in a good 90+ minutes and although it limits our attacking options on the left, it does bring a more defensive mentality to the team.
Serge Aurier Didn't do much wrong and was clearly shaken by the incident where Gomes broke his leg.
Toby Alderweireld Solid, as always, but couldn't get his diagonal passing going with Everton playing a high line to prevent runners beyond their back line.
Davinson Sanchez Did well and did not drawn into Richarlison's ploy as he fell to ground every time Sanchez went to challenge him.  Still looks as though he is lacking a little confidence, but that goes for most of the team.
Tanguy Ndombele Bit of a mixed bag.  Some good passes spread play, while others were misplaced to Everton players.  Uses his body well to lose opponents, but needs to increase tempo to Premier League standards.
Moussa Sissoko Powerful in the defensive midfield coupling.  Held his position well with a remit to do so rather than go forward today.
Lucas Moura Didn't have much opportunity to use his pace until the last minute of added time at the end of the match.  Worked hard, but with little effect on the game.
Christian Eriksen Poor performance with the midfielder looking a shadow of the player of previous years.  Lacked the decisiveness to create anything dangerous, but also produced a poor passing display.
Dele Scorer of our goal which he took expertly.  Tried to link play, but with an unfamiliar line-up, struggled to spark any forward momentum.  Getting there though.
Heung-Min Son Did well on the footballing side of the game until wrongly dismissed for the initial foul on Gomes that led to him breaking his leg.  Worked hard for the side and set up Dele's goal.
Giovani Lo Celso Looks as though he is a little out of it.  Hopefully, he will pick up the pace of the game soon, as we are going to need his creativity.  If not, he might not become a permanent signing.
Juan Foyth Did OK, with limited time on the pitch.  Might get a start soon with a number of games coming up.
Ryan Sessegnon Good header clear from free-kick with first touch and was up there when Lucas broke away looking to finish off the move, but it fizzled out.
Michel Vorm Did not feature.
Troy Parrott Did not feature.
Harry Winks Did not feature.
Eric Dier Did not feature.



What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Bournemouth 1 Manchester United 0 Saturday
Arsenal 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Saturday
Aston Villa 1 Liverpool 2 Saturday
Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Norwich City 0 Saturday
Sheffield United 3 Burnley 0 Saturday
Manchester City 2 Southampton 1 Saturday
West Ham United London 2 Newcastle United 3 Saturday
Watford 1 Chelsea 2 Saturday
Crystal Palace 0 Leicester City 2 Sunday



League Table  2019-20
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Liverpool 11 10 1 0 25 9 31 +16
2 Manchester City 11 8 1 2 34 10 25 +24
3 Leicester City 11 7 2 2 28 8 23 +20
4 Frank Lampard's Chelsea 11 7 2 2 25 17 23 +8
5 Woolwich Wanderers 11 4 5 2 16 15 17 +1
6 Sheffield United 11 4 4 3 12 8 16 +4
7 Bournemouth 11 4 4 3 14 13 16 +1
8 Brighton & Hove Albion 11 4 3 4 14 14 15 0
9 Crystal Palace 11 4 3 4 10 14 15 -4
10 Manchester United 11 3 4 4 13 11 13 +2
11 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 11 3 4 4 17 16 13 +1
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 11 2 7 2 14 14 13 0
13 West Ham United London 11 3 4 4 14 17 13 -3
14 Burnley 11 3 3 5 14 18 12 -4
15 Newcastle United 11 3 3 5 9 18 12 -9
16 Aston Villa 11 3 2 6 16 18 11 -2
17 Everton 11 3 2 6 11 17 11 -6
18 Southampton 11 2 2 7 10 27 8 -17
19 Norwich City 11 2 1 8 11 26 7 -15
20 Watford 11 0 5 6 6 23 5 -17

Position before match :  13th
Position after match :  11th
Position after the weekend :  11th


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